Peter LaBarbera is reporting they did, and he is hopping mad.
BREAKING NEWS/URGENT UPDATE: Americans For Truth has learned that a White House official has boasted to pro-family leaders attending a private Administration briefing that White House staffers were involved in the negotiations to craft expanded religious exemption language for the new ENDA bill, H.R. 3685 (discussed below). Call President Bush at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 (www.whitehouse.gov/contact) to urge him to publicly pledge to veto the dangerous ENDA (Employment Nondiscrimination Act) bill, H.R. 3685 in ANY form should it pass.
At the briefing, the White House official did not commit to the assembled evangelical leaders that the President would veto H.R. 3685, saying that they will wait to see the bill’s final language, according to our source. This is troubling in that vetoing ENDA in any form is regarded as a “no-brainer” by pro-family activists, who are counting on Bush to stop it. Failure to veto ENDA would be a devastating defeat for pro-family forces and a huge gift to homosexual lobbyists. Call the President (202-456-111) and urge him to “please publicly pledge to veto ENDA, H.R. 3685, in any form if it passes Congress.”
Some religious leaders take comfort in ENDA’s exemptions; we do not (see Points 8 and 13 below). White House involvement in negotiations over ENDA is problematic in that makes it more difficult for President Bush to veto the bill. As you can read below, H.R. 3685’s current religious exemption will hardly affect the many ways in which ENDA would erode and destroy the freedom of Americans to act on their deeply-held moral beliefs about homosexuality.
Bush reaffirmed the Executive Order banning discrimination against gays, originally signed by President Clinton.